*** Palestinian & Israeli Experts Agree on 20 Pillars for Conflict Resolution
*** Sean Cleary Guides Experts at Pocantico Estate of Rockefeller Brothers Fund
*** Darawshe & Lubetzky Address World Affairs Council, National Press Club
*** Media Spotlight--Ha’aretz: "Vilnai, Ratzon and Arafat's Brother in a New Peace Initiative"
*** Action Item: Get 10 Friends to Sign Proclamation, Join Movement
*** Vital Statistics
*** FOREMOST PALESTINIAN & ISRAELI EXPERTS AGREE ON 20 PILLARS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Cloistered in secrecy for 5 days at the Pocantico Estate of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and drawing from 10 years of negotiations and proposals, foremost Palestinian and Israeli experts were able to achieve consensus on 20 Pillars that may form the basis for Palestinian-Israeli conflict resolution.
The OneVoice Pillars address the key issues deemed as obstacles to be resolved in order to settle the conflict, advancing top-level proposals on how to resolve seemingly intractable issues, including the character of the two states, definition of borders, disposition of settlements, management of resources, the refugee issue, security mechanisms to ensure the safety of Israel and the end to the military occupation of the Palestinian territories, the status of Jerusalem and the Holy Sites, as well as means to ensure a process of reconciliation and respectful education.
The OneVoice Pillars, which are still confidential, will be tested with focus groups as well as with panels of scholars and advisors to ensure they can gain traction among mainstream Palestinian and Israeli constituencies. Very possibly, these will be merged into 10 to 12 unified proposals.
The OneVoice Pillars are not part of an academic exercise, but the beginning of a process to achieve historic grassroots consensus for conflict resolution. Once cemented, the Pillars will be disseminated through multiple platforms (http://www.silentnolonger.com/wwd_work.html) to allow Israelis and Palestinians on the ground to participate in broad-based extra-political negotiations – and to affirm or reject each of the proposals through a weighted voting mechanism -- until popular consensus is achieved.
The goal is to establish a clear vision reflecting the will of the overwhelming but heretofore silent majority of Israelis and Palestinians, establishing that there is far more common ground than meets the eye, fostering accountability, and providing a mantle of legitimacy and a more vocal and active constituency to propel and embolden political leaders to implement the will of the people.
*** SEAN CLEARY GUIDES EXPERTS AT POCANTICO ESTATE OF ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND
OneVoice is grateful to its exceptional Moderator, Sean Cleary, who flew in from South Africa to guide a remarkable group of experts. Mr. Cleary applied decades of conflict resolution, mediation and negotiations expertise as a high-level diplomat and global business leader to facilitate this critical process.
OneVoice is also grateful to the Palestinian and Israeli delegates who gave shape to what we hope will become a document of great import. The Council of Experts included foremost Israeli and Palestinian scholars and negotiators spanning a broad spectrum of politics and representing major constituencies, from heads of the largest NGOs to Legal Advisors to Legislators, to foremost scholars and highly-respected experts. As part of the OneVoice process and pledge, which de-emphasizes individual personalities to allow for popular ownership, the identities of the foremost experts are not to be disclosed until a later stage when the Pillars are unveiled and a broader panel of experts joins the Council. In this context, the selfless investment of these experts, who traveled from afar and worked long hours for the good of their peoples, is particularly commendable.
OneVoice is also thankful to Roberto Sonabend, co-chair of OneVoice-Mexico, to Dr. Fathi Darwish, Palestinian Executive Director of OneVoice, and to Jim Wehrle of the Muhammad Ali Center and the Ali Institute for Peacemaking & Conflict Resolution, who helped ensure the meeting was a success.
This gathering, from September 21st to 25th, was made possible by funds granted by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Sol Goldman Charitable Trust, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Charles H. Revson Foundation. OneVoice is thankful for their vital support.
*** DARAWSHE & LUBETZKY ADDRESS WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
Mohammad Darawshe, Mideast Director of OneVoice, and Daniel Lubetzky, President of the PeaceWorks Foundation, concluded an outreach trip to the United States that included presentations at the World Affairs Council, the National Press Club, private briefings to corporations, NGOs and Foundations, briefings at the US State Department, and talks on college campuses, synagogues and mosques.
*** MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: HA’ARETZ ARTICLE
*VILNAI, RATZON AND ARAFAT’S BROTHER IN A NEW PEACE INITIATIVE*
*Steering Groups of Both Sides Will Try to Formulate Ten Principles To be Presented to Both Peoples*
September 21, 2003. By Mazal Moalem
Ten years and a week after the Oslo accords, Palestinian and Israeli delegations of experts will convene in the Rockefeller estate, an hour’s drive from N.Y city, for five days of intense discussions. At the end of the process, they will present a document including ten substantive points for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will be presented to the Israeli and the Palestinian public in the framework of a referendum of hundreds of thousands of people, who will be asked to vote on each point. The goal of the project, named "OneVoice" [“pe ehad,” which also means ‘consensus’ in Hebrew] is to initially bypass the political process and transfer to the public the mandate to determine a solution to the conflict, which will then be presented to the policy makers.
From far away, a couple of Israeli politicians will follow the process: Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Employment Michael Ratzon, one of the right wing leaders in Likud, and Knesset Member Matan Vilnai, one of Labor’s more hawkish leaders. The two are behind-the-scenes partners to the initiative and Israeli members of the international Board of this movement. Ratzon and Vilnai have managed to cooperate in spite of their ideological gaps, due mainly to their security-oriented approach to the conflict. Over the last two months, a political alliance between the two has been established, which might become the source of interesting cooperation.
Two other interesting people among the members of the Board are on the Palestinian side: the brother of Yasser Arafat, Dr. Fathi Arafat, a doctor from Gaza, and Yasser Abbas, son of Abu-Mazen, a young and important businessman. The founder of the project is the Jewish businessman Daniel Lubetzky, who created the [PeaceWorks Foundation’s] "OneVoice" organization, within which auspices the project takes place. Among the international Board members are Edgar Bronfman Sr., President of the World Jewish Congress, Dr. James Zogby, President of the Arab-American Institute, and movie stars Danny Devito, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Alexander.
Similar to the "national count" of Ayalon-Nusseibeh, it seems that this initiative reflects the disappointment and public fatigue from the inability of political leaders to settle the conflict. But unlike the Ayalon-Nusseibeh initiative, this initiative does not present to the public a fait accompli.
Another difference is the participation of right-wing leaders. Ratzon was convinced to join after initial hesitation to the initiative, which could have found more natural support among politicians such as Beilin and Meretz members of Knesset. Ratzon's presence, and to a large extent that of Vilnai as well, is not coincidental. The founders feared it would appear as another "left-wing attempt.” “We wanted someone from the right, a Likud figure," explained David Leffler, Executive Director of the Israeli side.
The Palestinian side also tries to recruit middle-of-the-road, pragmatic figures. Mohammad Darawshe, Mideast Director of "OneVoice" said: "We managed to recruit important mainstream people so it will not be perceived as an organization of ten peace seekers. I know this has come to the attention of the most senior leaders in the Palestinian Authority, including, of course, Arafat and Abu-Mazen.”
Ratzon (who just two weeks ago called for the killing of senior political and military leaders of Palestinian organizations, such as [Hamas leader Sheik] Yassin and Arafat) said that he “is not going through ideological transformations" and that he is fully aware of the political price he might have to pay. "I am taking a very big political risk with the right wing public, but I have enough confidence in my positions, to test the matter seriously and with clean hands. I don't intend to be the ‘cover’ of leftist activity. I am now interested to know the attitude of the Palestinian public to terror.”
Recently, Ratzon has managed to recruit Gil'ad Erdan to the initiative, yet another Likud Knesset Member. And within the Council of Experts that is meeting today in N.Y, one of the members is Ratzon's legal adviser, Oranit Tzur-Lottan, who is well-grounded in the rightist camp. Ratzon instructed her to guard the right wing interests, even at the risk of quitting the meeting. "We will be a minority there, but we were promised that decisions will be reached through consensus. Otherwise we are out.”
The first test of this effort, the wording of the initial proclamation of principles that members are required to sign on to before being able to vote on the substantive issues, passed successfully from Ratzon's point of view. "I insisted that the word "kibush” [a word for “occupation" that implicitly connotes wrongdoing] would not appear [and it was replaced with the word “hahzaka,” a term describing the state of control and presence over the territories, without a moral condemnation, through agreement with the Palestinian side], nor the term "two states for the two peoples" [in the initial phase] so settlers could participate," said Ratzon. “This is not like the Nusseibeh-Ayalon initiative, where the right wing people are excluded from the start.”
“I hope Ratzon and all those on the right who have joined will not withdraw from the initiative,” said MK Matan Vilnai. “The fact that Ratzon is with us is important, since it makes this initiative different: not Beilin and the Oslo people again. Ratzon’s point of view and position are not simple. I believe in the Oslo principles, but part of the people Ratzon represents use the terms ‘Oslo criminals and traitors.’”
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BODY Members Web Access
Steering Committee 15 www.silentnolonger.org/wwa_steering.html
Honorary Board Advisors 22 www.silentnolonger.org/wwa_hon_advisors.html
Board of Trustees 24 www.silentnolonger.org/wwa_trustees.html
Council of Experts 12 TBA
Ad Hoc Advisory Council 245 http://www.silentnolonger.com/wwa_adhoc.html
Entertainment Council 31 http://silentnolonger.com/wwa_entcouncil.html
Staff/Core Volunteers 22/33 http://www.silentnolonger.com/wwa_team.html
Donors 253 http://www.silentnolonger.com/op_support.html
Committed Volunteers 132 N/A
Exec. Supporters List 980 N/A
Gen. Supporters List 1346 N/A
Member Organizations 30 http://www.silentnolonger.com/op_orgs.html
Proclamation Signatories25,032 http://www.silentnolonger.com/wycd_resolution.html
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